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drop it low

Initial unemployment claims have fallen to yet another pandemic-era low

Initial unemployment claims dropped but slightly over the past week, suggesting the labor market may be "leveling off" as the pace of pandemic layoffs reaches a possible "plateau," reports CNBC, per the U.S. Labor Department. 

First-time filings for the week ended Nov. 13 totaled 268,000, 1,000 less than a week ago, though slightly higher than the 260,000 estimate. It's now the seventh straight week to see a drop in claims. The total, which was in keeping with the past month, was also "the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic," CNBC explains, though it remains "slightly above the 2019 weekly average of 218,000," per Fox Business.

Continuing claims, which run a week behind and "provide an approximation for the number of people receiving regular state benefits," also dropped to a new pandemic low of 2.08 million in the week ended Nov. 6, per CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.

A shortage of workers nonetheless remains "an obstacle to faster job growth," notes Reuters.

But "demand for labor is very strong and workers are in short supply," economist Gus Faucher told Reuters, "so layoffs are very low right now."